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Alfa Romeo

post #1 of 77
Thread Starter 
I noticed that in the Mazda sportscar thread only one person acknowledged Alfa Romeo. I thought this rather odd as Alfa Romeo has got to be one of the most established names in sportscars, if not the one with the most cult appeal. Does anyone drive or share an enthusiasm for this marque?
post #2 of 77
Alfa may have one of the prettiest icons of historic roadsterdom, but they have been gone from the US market for a long time. Since 1994, I think. Their new cars are just generic Fiat (or worse, General Motors!) platforms with sometimes pretty (147, 155) and sometimes ungainly (Spider, GTV) bodies. Not that I don't appreciate Alfa. It is my ambition to someday own a late-1960s GTV. I think that is one of the most beautiful cars of all time, as well as being one of the most fun to drive. I had the good fortune to attend the Geneva auto show in 2003, where the heartstoppingly perfect Brera concept was released.
post #3 of 77
several months ago someone created a thread asking for advice on a car purchase. i suggested a new alfa, which can be bought in mexico and imported here. i caught a lot of flack for that one. i like the tiny ones from the late '50s and early '60s, but i've never owned one. i also liked the milano of the late '80s when i was a kid. they made one that had a sport body kit that was gorgeous in a cheesy '80s eurodesign delorean sort of way. and of course, i wouldn't kick a spyder, from any year, out of bed. there was an al pacino movie where he plays a pro race car driver. in that film, his personal every day car is an alfa romeo.
post #4 of 77
Thread Starter 
I was talking about their vintage classics like the iconic Spider or Sprints.

As for them being gone from the US market, I believe that has to do with the Italian government no longer sponsering them for their trips. But who wants a car everybody else has?
post #5 of 77
The new 1s still, they don't have cup holes, although yes, they are only Fiats.
post #6 of 77
The coolest Alfa's are the ones raced and maintained by Scuderia Ferrari, like this 1935 Type C 8C-35:



Jon.
post #7 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by matadorpoeta
several months ago someone created a thread asking for advice on a car purchase. i suggested a new alfa, which can be bought in mexico and imported here. i caught a lot of flack for that one.

i like the tiny ones from the late '50s and early '60s, but i've never owned one.

i also liked the milano of the late '80s when i was a kid. they made one that had a sport body kit that was gorgeous in a cheesy '80s eurodesign delorean sort of way. and of course, i wouldn't kick a spyder, from any year, out of bed.

there was an al pacino movie where he plays a pro race car driver. in that film, his personal every day car is an alfa romeo.

this sounds cool-- but what about maintainence???
post #8 of 77
if you're referring to buying a new alfa: back when there weren't any porsche or bmw dealerships in mexico, people down there would import them from the u.s. if it broke down, they would take it a mechanic, he'd figure out the problem, and then the parts would be ordered from the u.s. in l.a. there are plenty of alfa mechanics, though they are accustomed to working on the pre-1994(?) models. i would take it to any alfa mechanic knowing that whatever parts were necessary for repair could easily be ordered from mexico, or possibly, canada. if you're refeering to buying a used one, well, there are plenty of alfa mechanics where i live. in other cities, i don't know.
post #9 of 77
I love the old GTV. A neighbor had one when I was in high school that looked just like this:



I don't know anything about them, but I would definitely drive one.
post #10 of 77
I still see mid-to-late-eighties Alfa 164s in my neighborhood every once in a while. I heard Alfa was planning to come back to the US market but the date keeps getting pushed back. I belive the new Spider and the 159 were the models they were planning to bring over. At the rate they are moving the Chinese automakers woudl probably be here first.
post #11 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmax
I still see mid-to-late-eighties Alfa 164s in my neighborhood every once in a while. I heard Alfa was planning to come back to the US market but the date keeps getting pushed back. I belive the new Spider and the 159 were the models they were planning to bring over. At the rate they are moving the Chinese automakers woudl probably be here first.

I rather own an Alfa that breaks often than an everlasting Chinese car, which from what I've seen are built like Malaysian cars...completely without soul.

Jon.
post #12 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
I rather own an Alfa that breaks often than an everlasting Chinese car, which from what I’ve seen are built like Malaysian cars…completely without soul.
Some Malaysian cars have more soul than most people. Or at least this one: Also, keep in mind that Lotus's owner Proton currently employs the venerable Bob Hall, father of the Miata and a great influence on the FD RX-7. So I think in a few years we will see many lust-worthy Malaysian cars.
post #13 of 77
That’s an English car company that’s owned and financed by Lotus…it is not a car made in Malaysia. Actually, it’s rather pathetic that the British have been unable to hold on to their car industry, they certainly have the financial backing and know-how. Jon.
post #14 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
That's an English car company that's owned and financed by Lotus...it is not a car made in Malaysia. Actually, it's rather pathetic that the British have been unable to hold on to their car industry, they certainly have the financial backing and know-how.

Actually, Lotus is owned (and thus financed) by the Malaysian firm Proton. Except for point of assembly you're wrong about the rest of the details, too. The Mk. I Elise was financed by Italians, Lotus being owned at the time by the now defunct Bugatti organization, and indeed takes the name of former Bugatti CEO Romano Artoili's daughter. (I probably spelled that wrong, but you get the gist.) The Mk. II Elise was financed by Proton. It is, for now, made in the UK, though I will be even more favorably disposed towards the Elise if they move production to Malaysia.

Besides, the venerable Mr. Hall, the only car industry exec worth a damn to emerge in the last quarter-century years judging by the universally abysmal state of moderns, does not work for their Lotus division. He works for mainline Proton. I for one am looking forward to what he can do with a blank canvas.

Also, the British lost their automotive industry because they didn't have the know-how to do it despite their financial clout, just like America doesn't have the know-how to make interesting cars. British Leyland ca. 1975 was the precursor to today's General Motors.
post #15 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by SGladwell
Actually, Lotus is owned (and thus financed) by the Malaysian firm Proton. Except for point of assembly you're wrong about the rest of the details, too. The Mk. I Elise was financed by Italians, Lotus being owned at the time by the now defunct Bugatti organization, and indeed takes the name of former Bugatti CEO Romano Artoili's daughter. (I probably spelled that wrong, but you get the gist.) The Mk. II Elise was financed by Proton. It is, for now, made in the UK, though I will be even more favorably disposed towards the Elise if they move production to Malaysia. Besides, the venerable Mr. Hall, the only car industry exec worth a damn to emerge in the last quarter-century years judging by the universally abysmal state of moderns, does not work for their Lotus division. He works for mainline Proton. I for one am looking forward to what he can do with a blank canvas. Also, the British lost their automotive industry because they didn't have the know-how to do it despite their financial clout, just like America doesn't have the know-how to make interesting cars. British Leyland ca. 1975 was the precursor to today's General Motors.
Yes, I meant to write Proton, not Lotus. They provide the financing, but the car is made and designed in England. And you’re wrong about the British not having either the financially ability, nor the know-how to keep their car industry, but rather neither the know-how nor the finance was applied properly. Just because you have resources, does not mean that you apply them properly. Jon.
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